So Amp posted another one of his link farms, and I cruised over by feh-muh-nist to check out her “You’re not fat!” post. (It’s really good; I remember Marilyn Wann writing similar things in Fat!So? about how she wasn’t Rubenesque or voluptuous or big-boned but FAT.)

And I encountered this post about “The Trans Issue.”

It links to “Questioning Transgender.” I have a morbid fascination with transphobia, so I read everything on Questioning Transgender and checked back for months before I realized that it was a blunt instrument, not a space for further discussion. Discussion was the last damn thing they wanted; check out the testimonials section. Or the article about how Brandon Teena’s male gender identity was nothing but a result of the sexual abuse he endured, but his exclusively woman-oriented sexuality couldn’t possibly have been affected by that at all.

Apparently, I am part of a cohesive political movement! It’s called “trans,” and is populated by “trans,” which is the plural of “tran,” which is Latin for “evil robot.” Its agenda–there’s just one–is “trans politics,” and it advocates for the removal and reification of gendered boundaries to serve the trans overlyrds. Sort of a gerrymandering of gender. Except eviller. It’s more powerful than the masons, and its influence is everywhere.

Fucking sweet! All of you cisgendered losers had better stop murdering us and firing us and evicting us and insulting us and humiliating us, or we might just have to get mean.

Does this insistence that “they’re all the same” seem familiar to anyone? Because I’ve noticed it in every instance of popular/outsider coverage of every minority community that’s ever existed. It’s bigotry in a nutshell: dismissive, dehumanizing, and above all reductive.

Here’s the money quote (okay, the one about how you can help a group of people while ignoring everything they have to say about their own oppression was pretty good, too):

We do not, however, share the political vision of those who espouse transgender politics. To the extent to which the transgender politics include the insistence that transgender individuals be served by human services designed by and for women, to the exclusion of women themselves, and the extent to which transgender politics question our ability to say that there are two socially created classes of human, male and female, and that there are social, economic, and power differentials between those two classes that amount to the oppression and domination of one over the other, we must stand opposed to trans politics. Additionally, we do not believe that the philosophical basis for transgender politics addresses the problem of male power or the significant problem of male violence across the world which includes violence against women as well as violence against transgender people.

Can you spot the assumptions? I’ll start. There’s such a thing as trans politics. Transwomen are not women, and they do not have equal stake in or need for public services designed for women. A reasoned understanding of a transsexual life and experience is wholly incompatible with understanding our society’s mediation of misogynist oppression and male privilege. Transsexuals themselves are incapable of tracking these broad differences or relating them to their lives and identities. There are no transsexual feminists, nor transsexual contributions to feminism, and none of the theories around transgender or transsexuality are informed by feminism. Transpeople have no stake in feminism. Feminism can only retain its power and clarity–its feminist politic, if you will–if it constructs itself in opposition to transpeople–excuse me, “transgender politics.”

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7 comments for “Muahahahahaha.

  1. April 17, 2006 at 3:18 pm

    Ugh, this would be right at home on a AmTaliban web site. Pretty much ignoring FTM’s altogether while implying that all MTF’s are just interested in using ‘male privilege’ to take over women’s space. They also buy in to the gender binary thusly conceding half the argument to the misogynist’s. This sort of thing is the trans version of the straw-feminist so beloved of the right, a straw-transwomen so to say.

    I do wonder why they and the AmTaliban almost always ignore trans-men?

  2. piny
    April 17, 2006 at 4:05 pm

    …Actually, questioningtransgender does include some posts about transmen…sorta.

    There’s the Brandon Teena article, and one on transgender politics. The former presumes to speak for someone who can’t defend or clarify anything because he’s, you know, dead. The latter references the other side in “this girl who sat next to me in class one time….” terms. Nowhere on that site is there a direct engagement with the writing of any transsexual, transgendered, or genderqueer activist except for brief out-of-context references to Riki Wilchins and Leslie Feinberg.

  3. Person
    April 17, 2006 at 7:34 pm

    That site…gawd. The level of ignorance is stunning. One article I had the misfortune of reading even equated intersex (which, unless I’m unfamiliar with an alternate use of the term, is caused by a variety of genetic conditions) with transgender.

    And I hated how they kept calling Brandon Teena “she” and “her”.

  4. cicely
    April 18, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    Does this insistence that “they’re all the same” seem familiar to anyone? Because I’ve noticed it in every instance of popular/outsider coverage of every minority community that’s ever existed. It’s bigotry in a nutshell: dismissive, dehumanizing, and above all reductive.

    Hell, yes. And I’ve seen more of this re transwomen on the michfest political discussion forum – in particular – than I could ever hope to remember. You could probably see it on any day of the week there. I don’t believe that most women who go to michfest are transphobic, or even support the anti-trans politics commonly expressed on the board by a vocal few, even if they support the womyn-born-womyn policy, but anyone who frequents that forum would be hard-pressed to find a place with more bigotted or toxic anti-trans ‘dialogue’. I used to support the WBW policy myself (and haven’t yet publically denounced it) on the basis that the event is *for* a group whose shared experience is being born, raised and having always lived and currently live as girls and women under patriarchy. (and most but not all also as lesbians.) That is, it is meant to be *inclusive* of these women, rather than *exclusive* of transwomen. Because of what I’ve encountered (and argued against) on the board though, I have decided not to go the festival myself (or even participate on the board anymore) while I closely examine and consider what is actually happening. In any case I’m personally not prepared to attend an event that embraces proponents of anti-trans politics and hate-speech (and makes transwomen as unwelcome – ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ in practice -as it possibly can without actually posting a ‘no transexuals’ sign) and while the organisers and owners of the land and the event make no attempt to distance themselves from same.

    I’ve digressed wildly here with this personal rant because this issue is very much on my mind at present. My apologies. Hovered over the delete key – but then – I guess I’d like to hear what others here think about transwomen and WBW space. I don’t feel any need for WBW space myself. I’m not sure it accomplishes anything particularly positive that couldn’t still be accomplished in the presence of transwomen. It feels crazily disproportionate. I certainly wouldn’t want it to spread, (because of the attendant anti-trans politics) but I also don’t feel that I have a right to speak for others. So I’m feeling like a fence-sitter, and this is an unfamiliar and uncomfortable position for me.

    To get back to the point though…when I pointed out that a particualr transwoman on the michfest board has a stated agenda, which she sticks to for most if not all of the time, of simply correcting misinformation about transexuals as it appears on the board, with reference to her own life and experience, I was told by someone that this constitutes trans politics. So that’s all it takes, apparently. The repetition of a gentle reminder that not all transexuals are the same.

  5. GoUSALandOfOpertunity
    April 22, 2006 at 11:36 pm

    I am a black feman tranny jewish lesbian with extensive genital modification and autocastration who has been raped by a christian so I am an expert on the laissez-faire racism and bigotry which infects this society of white privilege. We have to stop these sick in the head heteronormative whites, who are on the verge of sending us to the gas chambers. I don’t know why Pipes, Wolfowitz, Perle, Horowitz, Dershowitz, Frankin, Libby, Abramoff, Chertoff, Miller, Woodward, Renolds, Auster, Kristol, Abrams, Feith, Peikoff, Greenspan, Cohen, are allowing themselves to be duped by the evil-mastermind honkey Bush who is about to give up our holy land of Israel, to the heteronormative muslims!

    Spread love, not hate!

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